10 Tips for Exploring a Beach Town
Hello World! Are you ready to follow Wanderology Girl on her Florida Beach Tour. Here is 10 fabulous tips for exploring new beach towns. Whether your visiting for a day, a weekend, or longer, these tips can make the most memorable, fantastic, wandering experience. Below are some pretty awesome ideas how to be a nomad, beach bum, or at least a relaxed beach drifter.
Take a minimal amount of travel essentials to truly be free to wander. Don’t be tied down to all your belongings. Think nomad, drifter, simple, and essential. It doesn’t mean you can’t be fashionable….the idea is comfortable. It’s about being a being a savvy packer. I will be posting my (packing like a wanderer) list soon.
#2 Backpack It My Friend
Find a great backpack and you’re set. You will find it difficult walking down cobblestone streets or wandering through beach shops, or skimming through sandy shores, with a giant tote bag or even dragging suitcases around.
#3 Find a Host
Getting to know the culture and learning more about a town can be greatly accomplished by staying with a host family at the beach. You will make new friends and learn much more about relationships in this enviorment. You may not always feel comfortable, but from this experience you will always feel grateful.
#4 Keep a Travel Diary
It may seem obvious how meaninful this tip is, but you would be suprised those who miss out on this. Even if you only keep track of places, visited, feelings felt, people you meet…your favorite discoveries, that will suffice. It will be a treasure to you for years to come.
#5 Explore Farmer Markets and Local Cuisine
Some beach towns have delectable cuisine. Find fun, trendy places to eat. Explore Farmer or Fresh Markets for a taste of local delight and to find recipes to try back home.
#6 Meet the Locals
Don’t be afraid to make conversation and ask locals questions. You will be suprised who you can spark up a new friendship with and get great tips for interesting thing’s to do in the area. The locals are at the heart of a beach town.
#7 Take a Class
Many little towns have classes on local gardening, preservation, cooking, or customs. On weekends some shops even host how to classes in art or crafts. Find something new to learn during your breeze through beachy towns.
#8 Check Out Calendar Events
Most little towns will post current events on a monthly calandar. You can usually get this information by just searching the towns current events. You might be there the perfect time for a parade, arbor tree planting, a festival. Check it out!
#9 Go Shelling
Some Florida beaches are known for shelling. You can kick your toes through salty water and sugary sand to find some great little shells to bring home. This is so relaxing with waves breaking and the ocean breeze in your face. It’s a form of meditation for me.
#10 Explore Like a Nomad Not a Tourist
Don’t just stick with trip advisor or tourist books. Let your soul wander shops and local little hidden gems. Remember not all treasures are easy to see or publicized…some treasure is buried. Your job is that of an explorer….now go discover something special for yourself.
My last and very important tip is always bring strong sunscreen. Florida will be friend or foe to you depending on this cruicial essential. She can help you unwind or scorch you.
Spring has Sprung….
Spring has sprung! Joy is in the air! People all around this beautiful world celebrate life! I love the bright, and pastel colors found in spring. This time of year bring’s on feelings of going on new adventures. I’m just finishing up plans for a roadtrip. Where will you wander this glorious spring dear reader? -Wanderology Girl
Designing Dreams….My new Blogging Suite
I know one thing for sure…if you want your dreams to come true you have to design them. I wanted to be a wanderer, traveler, blogger, writer, and photographer.I wanted to inspire, elevate, and bring joy to my readers. So the process for me began with designing the very sanctuary where these ambitions could blossom. My own little haven of blogging bliss. I needed to have a clearing season, to clear away the unnecessary in my life and make room for different, new, goals and dreams. I have always had a desk for paperwork and other tasks. it was tucked back in a dark corner of my dining room. No wonder I never felt inspired there. I wasn’t where life was happening. I wasn’t near an open window with a fresh breeze to inspire my writing. I wasn’t near the light that enlightens the soul and fills the mind with inspiration. So where oh, where would I find this magical spot. I didn’t have a sunny bedroom in my home for an office. That’s when the brilliant idea came to me like a sudden burst of flowing thoughts. I could just carve out my little cavern of peace in the corner of my family room next to three huge windows overlooking my backyard. This will do. This will bring a fresh rush of inspiration. I love the light, the breeze, a place to gave when my mind wanders. So I had found the perfect spot to blog.
Now the designing part comes into play. My Blogging Suite had to have elements of goals, and dreams, and success to motivate my work. I chose a black and white theme to represent my travel dream of going to Paris eventually. Touches of pink that whisper I’m girly. I had to have a living plant to remind me of my wanderology theme to “Live” and a candle to bring light and guidance on my path.Just as luck would have it my husband just bought me a beautiful, pink calla lily. And I purchased a beautiful Fitz & Floyd candle in Rosemary & White Ginger. It’s so yummy! Topped it off with a coordinating water bottle , and thermal lunch bag from Thirty-One.
I bought black and pink coordinating file folders and binders from target. Totes and file holder and matching notepad from Thirty-One. It has a sweet ambiance with my Eiffel tower screen saver in a spring setting on the desk. At night I sometimes transition to a sparkly Eiffel tower in a night setting. I have my French calendar by Page-a-day, and a stone throw away is a full size France calender my dear friend Jewels got me.I have a brass compass that was found on Amazon, to remind me to head in the direction of my dreams, a quote a day book and the reminder “Paris is always a good idea”. I have a water globe from our family’s favorite vacation spot the Florida Keys. If you look closely I keep my Crown from when I was Mrs. Tampa America 2008 in the Mrs. America Pageant near by to remind me the only dreams you achieve are the ones you actually go for!
I found an adorable black stripe rug to put under my chair at Home Goods. I re-covered an old chair with fabric to coordinate. I tied my nearby love seat in, with a pink chandelier toss pillow, and black & white throw. I just bought a sharp looking velvet pillow of the Eiffel tower and put that on the sofa. It’s all coming together now. I bought a easy pocket size 2015 Paris Planner C’est la Vie. The planning, the designs, and then finally the dreams become realized. It started out I couldn’t find the a spot for my Blogging Sweet…until I allowed myself to think outside the box. To allow myself to have new eyes.The real voyage of discovery consist not of seeking new landscape, but in having new eyes.
New Orleans Day 3: Antiques, Boutiques, & Window Shopping
One of my favorite places to wander in New Orleans is the Antique district. Amazing, copious amounts of boutiques tucked between black french lamp posts and cobblestone streets. There is just something that stirs the soul to go into these historic treasure chests. It seriously would take you weeks to really browse and see all these charming places. I really couldn’t get enough. I was drinking in the atmosphere and had been transported a century or more back into a time machine. If I could have one memento from this place what would transport me back here to my lovely visit, every time I glanced at it, what would it be? Maybe this??????
Amazing how many sparkly creations are draping the ceilings of these quaint shops. I have always been taken in by chandeliers. But I am afraid I can’t fit this in my suitcase home. I found a great article naming the top 10 antiques shops in New Orleans , that might help narrow down where you want to go if your serious antique shopper. Here is the link. http://www.10best.com/destinations/louisiana/new-orleans/shopping/antique-shops/
What I love about this place is the variety in shopping and eating. You never know what is around the next corner, and to my surprise it’s usually delightful. Here is some of the places I had a chance to browse or window shop.
When you finally have exhausted your sweet little feet, Pick out your favorite brunch bonnet and escort your famished tummy in a horse drawn buggy, over to hear some Jazz for brunch.Here is a delightful little place I discovered on Royal Street. The Court of Two Sisters Best Outdoor Dining Spot: AAA Southern Traveler Magazine’s. The adventures never cease in a wonderland of creativity here in The Big Easy. By the Way, many readers may not know how that nickname “The Big Easy” came about. One theory goes the nickname may be related to the rich musical heritage of New Orleans. The city has long been a a safe place for jazz and blues musicians who wanted a place to experiment with their abilities.. The story goes, that the earliest use of the Big Easy had to do with there were many different kinds of ways for a good musician to make it in New Orleans. From performing street performing, to playing in parks. Nightclubs became a hot ticket. It was the most helpful city at the time for a new artist to get the support they needed. The Big Easy may have represented the amount of ease it was for struggling musicians to find place to survive and thrive there.
Don’t forget to stop by this amazing little shop I saw. Just the charming sign draws one inside. How enchanting to have a signature scent created especially just for you. I had to resist such a temptation on this adventure. It definitely would be a souvenir you would never forget. That is the thing I discovered here. You really feel like thing’s can get personal. People feel free to be real, to share their talents, to find their place. I love the creativity, the charm, the talent, the art, the character this place breathes. It beckons travelers “Come, come and wander my streets….live a little.” The name of the perfumery is Bourbon French Parfumes http://www.neworleansperfume.com/about.htm
Then head over for one last beignet for dessert. I just can’t get enough of these delicious treats….somehow they draw the words “Oh,la,la” from my sweet powdery lips. http://www.cafebeignet.com/
As I was wandering down the street I rushed past a window, and something made me take a step backwards. What was the delight that caught my hurried attention? It was this adorable little dog snuggled on the couch in the window of somebody’s street-side apartment. It was all nestled between mingling homes and shops. This was such a wonderful treat. I had to snap a shot of this. Imagine how great this shot will be, when I get my new camera that I am saving up for (another Wanderology Girl Dream almost fulfilled). This is one of my favorite shots yet! It instantly took me back to the song……
“How much is that doggie in the window?
The one with the waggly tail
How much is that doggie in the window?
I do hope that doggie’s for sale!”
It was difficult leaving this hip, happy, place. The wonderful thing is, I took a chance, I came, I saw, I wandered. I am willing to find a way, even if it isn’t always in the cards….to live my dreams. I wish for you dear reader to wander….to find your dream….to do something today to start living it. We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.
New Orleans Day 2: Dirty Rice, Art, & all that Jazz
Wandered the Big Easy : Day 1 Hotel, Street Cars, & Beniget’s
I arrived in the amazing city of New Orleans, and I ventured first to check into my hotel. I ran into a bit of trouble trying to find a place to park. Parking is one thing I had not planned out in advance. You want to park in secured parking to prevent property loss (as I was instructed by many locals). I finally found a lot a few streets over from the Hotel. It had a paid security guard who told me even with my car being in a security patrolled lot, I had a risk of theft. So I chose to take all my belongings I could, into the Hotel. I finally arrived at the Hotel . I stayed at The Lafayette Hotel.
The Staff was so friendly when I checked in. They gave me maps, and instructed me the safe streets to walk down. They told me streets to avoid, and even gave me a strong reminder not to walk down any dark streets or alleys on my expedition. I felt this advice very helpful. They guided me toward things that would be of interest to me. I was very thankful for their hospitality. I checked into my room it was beautiful. Not modern but historic feeling. Cozy and comfortable.
The Lafayette is in the heart of it all, on the fashionable Saint Charles Avenue Streetcar Line overlooking Lafayette Square across from Gallier Hall. The Lafayette Hotel offers guests New Orleans style and charm. It is a 1916 historic landmark, from Old World architecture, French doors and wrought iron balconies to marble floors, polished mahogany and English botanical prints. The ambiance is luxury. The Lafayette Hotel is located close to the Historical Arts and Warehouse Districts. Only a short stroll away from all major attractions, it is within 5 blocks of the French Quarter, Superdome, Riverfront, and the Convention Center.
After a relaxing night sleep I decided to head out get some breakfast and do some sightseeing. Many people I ran into gave great tips for seeing the city. One local told about Cafe’ Du Monde.The Original French Market Coffee Stand Since 1862 where they serve delectable French Benigets smothered in toppings and powdered sugar.
After Breakfast I decided to head down some of the streets in the antique shop district. On my way I was thrilled by all the street artist and performers. I came across this gentleman playing his guitar. I had to stop and just listen for while. I was amazed to realize that by stopping and taking in life all around you , how you truly begin to feel part of things. I learned from this artist, not to hide your talent, and you are never too old to do what your love. i don’t know his whole story, but his story is definitely still unfolding, because he has wandered into something he loves to do. That is what I encourage my readers to do. Find your passion. Then do it! Don’t find excuses. Find reasons why you can, and have to live your dreams.Where there is a will, there is a way.
One of my favorite parts of visiting a few unique cities is their cute street car transportation system. They are icons for travelers that seem to scream a happy “Hello!” when with their charming bright colors and fun way to travel about. There is definitely an air of excitement in this city. It’s all about having fun here, and the Trolley is an innocent beginning to it all.
New Orleans Streetcars are a great way to get out and explore New Orleans. The historic New Orleans streetcars travel throughout the Crescent City on four different lines: the St Charles Streetcar route, the Canal St Streetcar route, the Riverfront Streetcar route and the Loyola Avenue/Union Terminal loop. So climb aboard and take a trip into the past on a New Orleans streetcar. The streetcars running along Canal Street, the Riverfront and the Loyola loop (red) are more modern than those running along the St. Charles Avenue route (green) and they have more conveniences. The red streetcars are fully air-conditioned with wider doors that allow for handicap access. The street cars only accept cash or passes. For unlimited streetcar riding I recommend that you purchase a Jazzy Pass. For information on purchasing passes go to the New Orleans RTA website.
just wander back over to the WanderologyGirl Blog to see the rest of this fun adventure. Hope you are thinking about your dreams now. Where would you like to wander? What are your dreams? Write them down today, and try to do 1 thing to bring you closer to making that dream a reality.
The morning finally arrived and I headed out to wander down the streets. I could see the alleys bustling with pedestrians, and the streets were filling with tourist and locals. Off in the distance, the French Quarter was slowly awakening into an outside artist market. The atmosphere so alive, so thrilling.
It was simply stunning.
I stood there enjoying the street musicians for quite some time, watching the many artist set up easels and paint their hearts out.I start feeling some soul, wishing I had some rhythm to match it, but since I can’t dance, (I may get some rhythm in another life), I just watch as other tourist gather around the corner in front of me, smiling at the enchanting sound of smooth jazz music flowing out of the trumpets nearby.
I could not have been happier. As I continued down the cobblestone streets I came upon such beautiful homes nestled between colorful shops. They were a mix of Key West Caribbean and French architecture.From the Cast Iron balconies to beautiful pastel shudders. I have never been to Paris, (That is my ultimate travel dream), but this place is a mini France in a lot of ways. I have to to start my travels somewhere, and The French Quarter seems a perfect inspiration to me.
I continued down the block and that’s when I was entranced by one of the most beautiful and spectacular sites I’ve seen so far . I remember saying to myself, “Amazing”, over and over again, completely fascinated by the architecture and royal grandeur of this place. I had entered into a fairy tale setting surrounded by magical gates. The St. Louis Cathedral is one of New Orleans’ most notable
landmarks. This gorgeous building, its triple steeples towering above, looks down benignly on the green of the Square and General Andrew Jackson on his bronze horse and on the block-long buildings with their lacy ironwork galleries. Truly, this is the heart of old New Orleans.
Of course, I then saw the sweeping towers grace the sky on the rooftop, it reminded me that I should probably work a little harder on my Camera fund. As I mentioned before, (I’m saving up for a fancy, smancy , camera) for now my cell phone pics will have to do. Be patient folks, As I reach my goals and dreams the pictures will improve. I’m living my dream, what dream are you working on dear reader? I finally walked through the regal doors of the cathedral.
The Cathedral is said to be haunted by Fr. Antonio de Sedella, more commonly known as Père Antoine. He was a priest at the Cathedral and his body is buried within the church. He is said to walk the alley named after him next to the Cathedral in the early mornings.
Accounts of his apparitions by parishioners and tourists claim that he appears during Christmas Midnight Mass near the left side of the altar, holding a candle.
Another haunting is said to take place in the Cathedral by Pere Dagobert, a monk who resided in the church. It is said that his voice can be heard chanting the Kyrie on rainy days.
After touring the church I just wandered Jackson Square for a while, a long while, focused on the creative experience I was having here.I was just soaking it all in.
I could see the store fronts, the bicyclists, the musicians, the paintings pinned to boards, the flower shops, the long lines at the restaurants, the food, did I mention the food? What I loved most was the ability to get to meet so many people. To make connection and memories.Just let yourself be curious when you travel. It will bring you great delight. I stood there enjoying this artistic scene for quite some time, watching the different street artist paint, perform, and sell their precious treasures.